Category: Mixed

Appreciation of Art Photography Through Music

Online gallery presentations, including photographic displays, occasionally incorporate music to enhance the experience and appreciation of the visual work. In presentations of music with art photography, the success of the audiovisual pairing is driven by establishing meaningful relationships between musical and visual content. But this is true in couplings of music with other visual art forms as well. Is there any potentially unique aspect to the pairing of audio with an art photograph?

The art photograph, like every photograph, starts with a camera and a physical subject. By definition then, even the most abstracted snapshot is firmly connected to a physical subject. Further, the artistic snapshot reflects the manipulation of physical matter, i.e., light, subject, and camera. In order to create a unique bond with the photograph, the music can be similarly constrained to elements and edits which are rooted in physicality.

There are more and less subtle applications of this notion. The most general implication for the music is a preference for acoustic sounds, or at least samples of acoustic sounds, over purely synthesized tones. Let the sound originate from a violin, or an oboe, or a sitar, as opposed to a dub-step sample box. Choices with respect to note and chord organization are another opportunity for physical grounding of the music. A systematic approach to note and chord choices, as opposed to a random one, will on some level incorporate the ancient relationships identified between musical modes and nature.

Translating a particular technique used to create the art photograph into musical terms can be a subtle and challenging affair. The photographic technique known as high dynamic range imaging, for example, which makes light more equally available across regions of a picture to facilitate greater representational detail, might suggest an orchestration that highlights individual instruments, rather than blending them. A snapshot which relies on the disorienting effect of the tilted camera and closeup-induced distortion, could suggest an audio edit which is likewise disorienting and distorting. Panning is a recording technique which can create some musical disorientation, especially if the composition emphasizes the stationary and disparate placement of instruments throughout the sound field. Sometimes the photographer intentionally blurs certain regions of the image. Overemphasizing particular frequencies in the audio spectrum, very much a physical manipulation of the sound, can achieve some intentional distortion to match the photos intentional blurriness.

In conclusion, while the glue holding music and photograph together is essentially that which holds music together with any visual image, there is a unique opportunity for unification. To match the snapshot’s inextricable connection to a physical subject, the music can self-impose a constraint of physicality. A preference for acoustic sounds and organized harmonic systems is implied. Musical parallels to specific photographic techniques typically involve editing techniques such as panning or audio frequency manipulations.

Portrait Photographer’s Relaxation Technique

Yet another beautiful young lady strides confidently through the plaza with her cotton summer dress dancing in all the right ways. Her auburn hair streams out behind in perfect step with the undulations of her dress and sparkles in the midday sun. As a photographer, you can’t help but marvel at her poise and sense of purpose.

She takes a long glance at herself in the shop window without ever missing a step. She strokes her long thin fingers through her hair and takes another look. We know what she’s thinking, and we think she’s beautiful too.

But this confident young lass has a secret. A deep dark secret.

By day and night, in her casual life, she feels confident and beautiful. She’s at the top of her game. But deep inside she feels a dread of things to come. In two days time she must sit in front of a stranger. One who will look at her with a critical eye and examine her every feature.

It’s not as if she has a choice. Every high school senior must pass through this ritual.

When she walks through the studio doors, her poise and confidence drop from ten to below zero. Suddenly, she’s conscious of every mark or scar she’s ever gotten and that tiny little pimple seems larger than Mt. Vesuvius today. Why today of all days! She knows her nose is too big and it tilts just a bit to one side, but she hopes to God you won’t notice too. But she’s sure you will. And you’ll say something about it too. She’s sure of it.

Isn’t it just amazing how much we all enjoy looking at ourselves, but we hate to have our picture taken! We all crave attention deeply, down to the very core of our being, but we hate for someone to be looking at us!

We humans are a complex bunch!

But regardless of our quirks and peccadilloes, it is the photographer’s job to put at us ease if he or she is to show us in our best light. Shouting “SMILE” from behind the camera just won’t cut it.

So what magic does the photographer call forth to overcome our dread of sitting before the lens?

Prior conversation is a great stress reliever. Meeting the client before the actual photo session is a great way to break the ice. Client and photographer have a chat about what interests the client has, what kind of clothes they feel most comfortable in, what kind of props they might like to use. They can discuss hair and makeup. And they can decide on locations or background scenes. Perhaps there’s a particular music that puts them in the mood for fun?

The simple act of sitting down with the client, a week or so before the photo session, and getting to know him or her goes a long way toward allowing their best face to come forward.

At the session, the photographer should display an organized, relaxed demeanor. The client will never relax if you’re shouting angry commands at your assistant or fighting with vendors on the phone. Certainly one can never be abrupt or short with the client. A calm and relaxed voice, offered with authority and clarity of purpose will put the client in the best state for photos.

Put on some upbeat music to set the mood. Ideally, the music you discussed at your prior meeting. Have the props ready for use as well as all your lights and equipment. The clients anguish will only rise if they have to wait for you. Keep talking as you work and prepare the next scene. When they know what to expect and what you are trying to do it helps them a great deal. You are a team, and your photos will show how well you worked together.

And be sure to add humor. It’s one of the best and most genuine ways to induce a smile.

6 New Tips to Create the Perfect Musical Theme Bedroom

Do you eat, drink, and sleep music? Whether you prefer Rock or Bach, you may want to create a musical environment within your home. One way is to design a bedroom with a musical theme. That will allow you to wake up with music before hearing your first note! Here are some tips to help design the best musical theme bedroom:

1. Create a plan and think about the furniture
To create a musical theme, follow a plan. First, determine the bedroom’s dimensions. Then you must make an important decision: are you going to add extra furniture to the room? If purchasing new furniture is unnecessary, then do not purchase it. You can use various means to embellish the furniture so it matches the floor and walls of the room.

2. Add paint, wallpaper, and borders to the walls
You can use a variety of approaches regarding the color of the walls. Paint all of them the same color, or use two different colors for different walls. Neutral colors are best, as they can create some balance with flashy musical accents that you will add later. You could also add wallpaper to help create a musical theme. An excellent option is wallpaper that gives the appearance of an auditorium’s wooden flooring. You could place music notes wall hangings atop it.

Another technique is to add borders with musical themes, such as musical notes, guitars, pianos, treble or bass clefs, etc. You could add borders at the center of the walls, or at the top of them. Placing borders at the top of the walls will create more space for various types of wall decor.

3. Remember the floors and windows
The color of the carpeting and drapes should be neutral (i.e. grey or white), to offset the various accents in the room. However, one of those accents could be the actual prints on the drapes! Use a maroon carpet runner at the door, to give the appearance of a musical awards ceremony.

4. Match up the furniture with the accents
Use a variety of musical theme accents, to add color to your furniture. Some examples include bedspreads, pillows, and throw rugs.

5. Add decor to the walls
After adding the initial paint, wallpaper, and borders to the wall, you can begin adding various musical wall decor to them. Some effective objects to consider are:

– music notes wall hangings.
– musical pictures (dancers, musical films)
– photographs from live performances (i.e. musicals, plays)
– musical instruments (but keep the baby grand grounded)

When adding wall art to the walls, you can use various methods, including a symmetrical and an asymmetrical scheme. Experiment with different arrangements.

6. Work on the lighting
You could give the appearance of an auditorium by placing light fixtures at the corners of the room, and then tilting them at different angles.

By following some simple steps, which could include wooden wall decor, you can transform your bedroom into an auditorium. Create your bedroom’s theme into a symphony of sights and sounds!

Shooting Photographs for an Archive

Manchester, UK, 1988, house music arrived at the world famous Hacienda night club Situated on Whitworth Street in the centre of town.

My work as a photographer covered music, fashion, portraits and lifestyle assignments. I was sent by various magazines such as The NME, The Face, i.d and Mixmag to cover what was happening at the world famous venue.

The scene exploded and I photographed Oasis, The Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, The Inspiral Carpets, Primal Scream, Blur, The Verve, The Chemical Brothers, James, DJ Sasha, Moby, DJ David Morales, DJ Graeme Park, DJ Mike Pickering, DJ Frankie Knuckles and Tony Humphries.

So if you want to create your own archive of photographs, you have to first find something that your interested in, a niche subject, something that your passionate about. If you’re the only photographer covering that particular scene then you will have exclusive photographs that no one else has.

Organize yourself and keep detailed records of when and whom you photograph. Load the pictures onto your website and then let magazines and T.V. companies know that you have a great resource of pictures covering that scene.

What to photograph? You need to be looking for stories from within the scene that you are covering. During the Manchester, Madchester scene, I not only photographed the people such as Noel Gallagher, Tony Wilson Dj Sasha, Bez, John Squire and Ian Brown, but I also photographed the fashion of the time and the people from the different nightclubs such as The Hacienda.

I knew that something special was happening in Manchester or ‘Madchester as it was known in the media. I decided to document what was going on at The Hacienda and other venues around the town. This decision has proved to be profitable as my archive of photographs is now sold around the world to magazines and T.V.production companies.

When you meet with the people who you think might be good to photograph, then talk to them about the scene that they are involved in. Ask questions, find out who they recommend from that scene who would be good to photograph.

Photograph the local area that is involved, the buildings, the people and places of interest. When you have a good body of work, contact local and national magazines. Tell them about your interest in the subject you are covering, remember your passion for your subject will come through and get the person at the other end of the line interested in your chosen subject.

Last of all enjoy what you photograph and let the people who take pictures of where they can see the pictures online.

Kind regards,
Peter J Walsh

Can You Use Music in Your Presentations?

You’ve found that perfect song to be your “walk on” music for your signature or keynote talk. Or you want to play a snippet of music later in your program. What do you need to consider before you use that music clip?

Is it Copyrighted?

Any time you use a work that is copyrighted-a book, music, video, photograph, drawing, cartoon, etc, you must have permission from the owner of the copyright. We all know that about using photos and other graphics in our presentations, but few presenters think about the music they use.

Creators of music and other audio works protect their material by registering it with the Library of Congress. They also register their works with a Performing Rights Society, which monitors the way these works are used and collects and distributes royalties.

The three biggest in North America are ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated), and SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. You can check these sites to see what the licensing requirements are.

You might be wondering if you really have to license the songs you use. Here’s the answer from ASCAP’s website in their FAQs.

“Do I need permission to perform music as part of a presentation in class or at a training seminar?

If the performance is part of face to face teaching activity at a non-profit educational institution, permission is not required. Permission is required when music is used as part of training seminars, conventions, or other commercial or business presentations.”

For most of us, that’s a “yes.”

One other thing to consider is that often the venue… the conference, the convention, the hotel, or the event facility has purchased a license. If that’s the case (as it generally is for my own presentations), then you don’t have to worry about it… it’s taken care of.

What are My Other Options?

There is royalty-free music you can purchase from various websites where you make a one-time payment to own and be able to use a piece of music. Some of it’s even free. You can check out sites like The Music Bakery , Shock wave-Sound  –or just Google “royalty free music.”

Music clips can be a great enhancement to your talks. It can set a mood, send a message, and keep your audience engaged.

Just make sure you’re using them with integrity.

Note: I’m not an attorney. This is not a legal opinion. It’s just some guidance to point you in the right direction.